The Buick GS Nationals is happening this weekend in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This is where fans of Flint’s flyers go to congregate with other like-minded fans of “Nailheads” and turbo V6s and everything in-between. The Buick crowd has a heavy drag race contingency too, which shouldn’t be too surprising considering there’s been a decades-long rivalry between the 455 Stage 1 and Chrysler’s 426 Hemi. Because we love torquey Buicks, this 1968 GS 400 convertible is our Pick of the Day. It is being sold on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Los Angeles. (Click on the link to view the listing.)
When Buick redesigned its engines in 1967 and retired the Nailhead, the Gran Sport became the GS 400 thanks to a new 340-horsepower 400 that was more than competitive with similar engines in the market. For the 1968 model year, Buick redesigned its A-body series to something more modern and curvy. Though the new Special/Skylark/GS looked like a mini LeSabre in some respect, the GS 400 came off as somewhat frumpy compared to its SS/GTO/4-4-2 cousins at GM. As such, the Buick camp tends to see 1968-69 Buick A-bodies as members of “Stepchild Nation” because it’s squeezed between the older style of Buicks as well as the ever-popular 1970-72 facelift that was available with the giant-killer 455 Stage 1.
So, yeah, cars of the Stepchild Nation need love too. The seller of this one has taken some liberties to give this 1968 GS 400 convertible presence not often seen in Stepchild Nation. Specifically, he deserves kudos for his modern wheel choice, which is something that can often lead to love-it/hate-it responses (more often the latter) on older cars but, in the case of these powder-coated 17-inch Weld Racing Ventura rims, it seems to work quite well. Perhaps it’s the stealthy triple black scheme? The overall effect effectively casts out any negative baggage that sometimes comes with being a Stepchild. Other features include bucket seats and console with that nifty “horseshoe” shifter. An aftermarket steering wheel, under-dash gauges, and upgraded stereo with speakers add to the cruisin’ and bruisin’.
“Looks and drives great,” says the seller, and who am I to doubt him? Considering sitting in traffic is part of LA living, I can imagine few cars in which I’d rather be stuck on the 101 than this 1968 Buick GS 400 convertible — thumbs-up from everyone and Roth-era Van Halen seems to make Stepchild Nation worth checking out, no? For $54,000, this 1-of-2,454 open-air Buick is your ticket.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.